How to Survive a Prize Drought

You have been on top of the world. The prizes have been regularly appearing at your doorstep or in your mailbox. Finally you thought you could call yourself a successful comper. Then suddenly it happens. Things slow down. You are still entering heaps of competitions. You know this because your fingers are tired from filling out all those forms and your inbox is still full of unsolicited and junk mail. What has happened?

You have simply hit a dry spell, a prize drought. It happens to us all. It would be extremely rare for any comper to continually win prizes without the occasional dry spell. They can happen at any time and there is often not much you can do about them except wait them out. If you are going through one at the moment or want to be prepared when one suddenly hits, here are a few hints and tips to help you get through and survive until it passes.

(1)   Make a list of all the prizes you have won in the last six months or so to remind you that comping is still a worthwhile hobby even though at the moment it doesn’t feel like it. Also make a list of all the prizes you would really like to win and stick it on a corkboard or on your fridge door to keep you motivated.

(2)   Apply for more freebies. It is still exciting to find something in your letterbox every now and again and lots of free samples and other freebies can fill the void and your kitchen and bathroom cupboard. Some freebies are almost as good as prizes. If you have not already done so, it might pay to register with and the Coles blog. Don’t forget there is always – our sister site.

(3)   Take a break. This can help to refresh you for when you decide to get back into it. Grab some of those movie tickets you won a few months back and shout your family or friends a trip to the movies. Try out some new recipes as they might come in handy at some stage in recipe competitions. Get your camera out and start snapping. Call some freids you haven’t seen for a while and go out for a drink.

(4)   Enjoy other people’s wins for a while.  It’s great to share in their enthusiasm and it my keep you inspired to keep going.

(5)   Take up a new hobby, sport or join a gym. You probably need to get back into a fitness routine if you have been sitting for long hours on the computer entering competitions for some time. If you are too lazy to do that – get a massage and enjoy.

(6)   Resist the urge to give up completely. If you work on it you will start winning again and there is always a new round of competitions appearing as others end.

Speaking of upcoming new competitions, once the back-to-school and back-to-work ones are over February competitions will begin to focus on Valentines Day (the 14th). Florists, confectionary businesses and jewellers will soon (if not already) appear out of nowhere offering irresistible prizes on Facebook, through competition websites, in local newspapers and women’s magazines. Restaurants may offer Valentines Day dinners for two and travel sites might entice you into competitions with romantic weekend getaways. So get your pens ready if a dozen red roses or a box of chocolate coated chocolates or a date with your beloved, appeals. And Easter is not that far off. Easter eggs and hot cross buns are starting to fill supermarket shelves. Then it’s always Mother’s Day again – an excellent time to win something to spoil your mum. So get ready!


After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at

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  1. Christopher King

    Words of wisdom! As always. 🙂

  2. Daniel

    Thanks very much Jenny, your hard work is greatly appreciated.
    Keep up the good work.

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